14th September 2022: Leaving is also tough {Jordan, September 2022}

We were picked up at 7:00 for our 10:55 flight out of Queen Alia International Airport, not by the guide any more, but by a random driver who dropped us off about 8:00. At the airport, a liaison came to pick us up. He took us through a pre-check before we could even walk into the airport. He walked us to check in and when I told him we had already done so, I might have broken his brain. He placed us on a special line and took our passports so we… got paper boarding passes.

Then he took us to the security area and left us there. We went through the automatic gates with the boarding pass, then through passport control, where we got the exit stamp. Finally, we got through standard airport security that swabbed my camera for explosives. The whole thing took about half an hour because even if there were many steps, there were few people in the airport. We found the gate and settled down to wait.

Passport page showing entry (10th September) and exit (14th September) stamps for Jordan, along with a "Group Tourist Visa" stamp (by JBinnacle)

And boy, apparently there had been overbooking in the flight, so checking in early saved us a lot of stress! We had paid to sit together, so I politely declined exchanging seats when I was asked, and my neighbour did not take it well…

We had a snack during the trip again, but I think that the meal and the drinks should have been a bit more separated, that would have made the trip more comfortable. We were supposed to take a little over five hours; however, had we found a landing slot, we would have made the whole trip in just over four. Upon landing, our passports were checked at the plane exit, then at normal immigration, then there was Covid vaccination status… and we made it back home after 12 hours on the go.

All in all, this has been an interesting experience, but we did not see a lot of the “important” sites, even in Petra. However, I do not think that I need to come back to Jordan. Even though it is the most westernised of the Arab states, child labour, animal abuse, hassling, peddling, distrust, and the tipping culture have been a put off. Furthermore, I plan to avoid the trip’s organiser as much I can in the future, because I did not like the way this panned out – especially the rearranging, the hours (early enough to be uncomfortable, too late to beat the crowds) and the “forced shopping times”, which I am told is typical in Middle Eastern countries. I swear, this has made me rethink Egypt…